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Virgin Media and Sky Extend HD Deal – All channels but Sky Atlantic coming to Virgin

Virgin Media and BskyB have extended their current lease of Sky channels in a new 5 year deal that will see all of Sky’s dedicated channels, Excluding Sky Atlantic, and their full HD counterparts available on the Cable service for the first time.

The deal is a 5 Year extension on the current contract, but this time the new deal Virgin Media means  customers will get a further five of BSkyB’s new high definition channels: Sky Sports 3 and 4, Sky Sports News, Sky News and its dedicated F1 channel.

The biggest omission from this list is still Sky Atlantic which will probably annoy many Virgin Media users, as its possibly one of the most sought after channels in the UK due to its super-premium channel listing that sky uses to show US imports and some original material first.

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Speaking of the deal, Tom Mockridge chief executive of Virgin Media chief executive, Said: “We are excited our customers will be able to watch even more great TV from Sky on more devices as a result of the most extensive agreement ever signed between Virgin Media and Sky,” said the Virgin Media chief executive.

The deal is thought to be extended to help both companies take on the increasing competition from BT, and its BT Sport channel, which last week was announced to be staying free for BT Broadband customers for another year.

Reports state that the two companies were once again unable to agree on a price to carry Sky Atlantic, with Sky maintaining it is much more valuable than the audience levels the channel attracts.

What’s more the new deal will allow Virgin Media customers will be able to access Sky’s channels through smartphones and tablets using the Virgin TV Anywhere app.

So it’s a bit of a boon for Virgin Media, but many will still be annoyed they will not be able to access Sky Atlantic with the new deal.

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The new channels will be coming in at no extra cost to existing Virgin subscribers who already take out the Sky Premium HD bundle, (which is priced at £7 extra a month), and the new Sky Sports channels and dedicated app services will be coming in the summer.